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How Do You Modernize Stateful Apps?

At the heart of app modernization is the goal of a better future. Vendors offer different approaches to modernization. Some suggest re-architecting an app’s system infrastructure, internal architecture, and functionality. Others advocate for leveraging containers, Kubernetes, and other orchestration tools to build solutions around cloud friendly, scalable microservices. Many IT operations have tried or are thinking of an in-place OS upgrade or manually re-installing an app.

Constraints can make app modernization challenging

Companies might not have the IT budget or resources for a huge redevelopment project. Or they might rely on a monolithic app, which can’t be taken apart and rejigged for a microservices-based architecture. Perhaps it isn’t an option to build software net-new in the cloud. An in-place OS upgrade is risky and difficult. 

If the OS stays at the same release level, engineers might try to migrate apps using P2V tools. But the application stack needs to run on a new OS instance, and the rework involved in P2V reconfiguration can make it seem faster to re-install applications by hand. Even if the OS release level stays the same, IT may not want to move all the applications running on an OS to a new server. 

If you depend on an app’s historical data, an in-place app upgrade gets you no further ahead. It gets you an application out of the box. When you modernize apps, you need to preserve the current state that makes them so valuable.  

Stateful applications tend to be monolithic, difficult to change and scale, and enduring. Yet they deserve a brighter future too.

How do you move forward despite constraints?

You can plan for a big re-architecture project, working now to secure budget. In the meantime, there’s a way to modernize stateful apps for a modest infrastructure investment. This investment will reward your business with significant benefits over the medium term. 

Moving apps to modern, supported operating systems on modern hardware gets you to a better place without big spending or business disruption, and it preserves app state. It’s called a re-install of apps on new servers.

VirtaMove uses a lightweight, proprietary container as a moving box for stateful apps. Intelligent migration software automatically discovers apps across your network, and then packages only the apps you want into a container on a new server in the destination of your choice. The containerized application is isolated from the underlying operating system and is portable. Perfect for testing on a new OS and a new server.

The moving container can be removed at the end of the migration, after which the app runs natively on a modern OS, with configurations, patches, and upgrades preserved. 

The best first step in app modernization 

Modern servers enhance performance. Modern operating systems close known security risks. Any reconfiguration required with a move can be done dynamically and automatically by VirtaMove software. A modern OS opens the opportunity of moving apps to the cloud, where they can be managed with cutting edge cloud management tools and easily scaled to meet demand.

You can plan for redevelopment later if you need it, and when the time is right you’ll be able to rebuild using a modern environment. You’re not forced into re-architecture right now because you want to run on modern servers.

A stateful re-install is the best first step in app modernization, especially in times of uncertainty when budgets might be lean. If you want to understand more about how to modernize stateful apps, schedule a demo on our website, email, or give us a call. We’re always pleased to show you what we do.

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